Most people come to us looking for an Illinois attorney referral. We also offer free legal guidance from our attorneys and will talk to you about just any legal matter.
One recent called was meeting with an attorney she had found on her own and was very nervous about it. She had never met with an attorney before and wanted advice on what would happen, what to bring, what to expect, etc.
Unless the attorney you are meeting is arrogant or a scumbag (in which case you should look elsewhere), going to meet with an attorney shouldn’t be much different than meeting with a teacher or going to the dentist. The goals are different, but most attorneys are nice people and won’t try to intimidate you. We are in the customer service business or at least we should be.
In that first meeting or phone call the lawyer will be trying to determine what you want to accomplish if you hire them. You might not know what’s reasonable or not, but should tell your story so they can understand your situation and ask questions. I wouldn’t ask yes/no questions, but instead ask questions that require a response. Don’t say, “Have you handled similar cases?” Do say, “Can you tell me about some of the similar cases you’ve handled?”
As for what you should bring, that will be different in every case. In most cases it’s nothing. If it’s a medical malpractice case for example, it would be great if you had the relevant medical records, but it’s more important for them to learn the facts as you know them.
This whole time is a chance for you to evaluate the lawyer and determine if you want to hire them. Also know that they will be evaluating you. Are you truthful? Do you seem cooperative? Can you afford them? Are you nice to the staff?
If it’s a case you will be paying money for up front, you should get a reasonable fee estimate for the whole case and a written agreement to hire them no matter the type of case.
They don’t have to take you on as a client and you don’t have to hire them. You probably shouldn’t meet with ten attorneys, but talking to a couple is never a bad idea, at least until you find one that you are comfortable with.